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In 7 Comp. Dec., 684, it was held that the construction of additional rooms to the custom-house at New York City is not in the nature of a repair of the building, within the meaning of the appropriation for repairs, etc., of public buildings. I am also of opinion that the construction of a new toilet room in the Government Printing Office building is not in the nature of a repair of the building, and that the appropriation for the repair of the building is not applicable thereto.
PHOTOLITHOGRAPHING AND PRINTING FOR THE LIGHT-HOUSE BOARD.
Photolithographing and printing for the Light-House Board in connection with the construction of light-houses and light vessels are printing for an Executive Department, within the meaning of the act of January 12, 1895, and must be done at the Government Printing Office.
(Acting Comptroller Mitchell to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, August 30, 1904.)
In your communication of August 23, 1904, you request my decision of a question which you present therein as follows:
"It has been the practice of the Light-House Board for many years to enter into contracts with private parties for the work of photolithographing and printing its drawings in connection with the construction of light-houses and light vessels, charging the expense of same to the appropriation for the object to which the drawings pertain. A question has arisen whether this expense is properly chargeable to these special appropriations, or whether it should be covered by the general appropriation for printing and binding of the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Having in view the following provision of the printing act of January 12, 1895:
"All printing, binding, and blank books for the Senate or House of Representatives and for the Executive and Judicial Departments shall be done at the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law,”
and the subsequent acts making appropriations for printing, together with the practice that has grown up in the Executive Departments thereunder, a decision that the said expense comes properly within the special acts would appear to make this case an exception to the section of law above quoted, as being a case otherwise provided by law.'
"I have the honor to request your opinion, under section 8, of the act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat., 208), whether the expense
of photolithographing and printing the said drawings should be charged to the appropriation for the object to which the drawings relate or to the general appropriation for printing and binding of the Department of Commerce and Labor."
In specifying a "general appropriation for printing and binding of the Department of Commerce and Labor," I presume you refer to the appropriation for public printing and binding contained in the act of April 28, 1904 (33 Stat., 511). This appropriation is made for printing and binding to be done by the Public Printer, including printing, lithographing, mapping, and engraving for the Departments. The amount appropriated therefor is $6.005,645.82; and the act contains the following provision:
and from the said sum hereby appropriated, printing and binding shall be done by the Public Printer to the amounts following, respectively, namely:
"For the Department of Commerce and Labor, including thirty thousand dollars for the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and one hundred and seventy thousand dollars for the Census Office, five hundred thousand dollars."
You do not state whether the photolithographing and printing of the drawings to which you refer were done by private parties, in accordance with the practice which you mention, or by the Public Printer. If the work was done by private parties, I think it is clear that the cost thereof can not properly be paid from the appropriation for public printing and binding; and if the work was done at the Government Printing Office, I think it also clear that the cost thereof can not properly be paid from any appropriation for the LightHouse Establishment.
You also appear to imply that the practice, which you state has been in existence for many years, of having photolithographing and printing of drawings in connection with the construction of light-houses and light vessels done by private parties, and charging the expense thereof to the appropriations for such light-houses or light vessels, constitutes 'cases otherwise provided by law" within the meaning of the provision in the act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat., 622), that,"except in cases otherwise provided by law," all printing, binding, and blank books for the executive and judicial
departments shall be done at the Government Printing Office. I can not concur in this view. A practice may or may not be in conformity with law. If in conformity with law it is the law itself, and not the practice, which constitutes a case "provided by law." If not in conformity with law it clearly can not constitute a case "provided by law."
I think the practice referred to is not in conformity with law. I am not aware of any law which authorizes photolithographing and printing of drawings of light-houses or light vessels to be constructed to be done by private parties or otherwise than at the Government Printing Office.
I understand that the drawings referred to are made by the Light-House Board, which is a bureau in the Department of Commerce and Labor. (Sec. 4, act of February 14, 1903, 32 Stat., 826.) I am, therefore, of opinion that the act of January 12, 1895, supra, requires that lithographing and printing thereof shall be done at the Government Printing Office, and that the cost of such lithographing and printing is properly payable from the appropriation for public printing and binding only.
COMPUTING PAYMENT OF SALARY FOR FRACTIONAL PART OF A MONTH.
Where an employee performs service from the 1st to the 16th of a 31-day month, is absent on leave from the 16th to the 29th, inclusive, and renders service on the 30th and 31st, she will be entitled for her services on the 30th and 31st to two days' pay.
(Acting Comptroller Mitchell to Elizabeth Downing, special disbursing agent, Civil Service Commission, August 31, 1904.)
In your communication of August 30, 1904, you request my decision of a question which you therein present as follows:
"I have the honor to submit to you for decision the following case:
'A clerk, class 3, in this office, has been absent on leave without pay since July 16. She reported for duty August 30. If she works both August 30 and 31, should she be paid two-thirtieths of a month's salary? If she works August 30, but remains away from the office on the 31st, should she be paid one-thirtieth?"
I think the facts stated must be regarded as indicating a break in the service, and therefore if the clerk referred to is present for duty on August 30 and 31 she will be entitled to two days' pay. If she is present for duty on August 30 only, she will be entitled to one day's pay only.
PAY OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS WHILE EN ROUTE TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE.
Diplomatic and consular officers are not entitled to the additional allowance of time provided by section 1742, Revised Statutes, for diplomatic and consular officers while going to and from the United States on leave, for more than one trip in the same year.
(Acting Comptroller Mitchell to the Secretary of State, September 2, 1904.)
I am in receipt of your letter dated August 26, 1904, wherein you request my decision as follows:
"I have the honor to ask that you will advise this Department as to whether a diplomatic officer of the United States abroad is entitled to use the maximum transit period in making transits back and forth to this country until his sixty days' statutory leave has been spent at his home.
"In other words, if he finds it possible to make the home transit in half the allowed time, and returns to the United States to spend two leaves of thirty days each, is he entitled to transit each way for each leave, provided that the sum of these four transits does not exceed the maximum allowed.
"This question has been raised by the application of the American minister to Greece, who, having spent part of his leave in this country during the spring, desires to return hither this autumn for the balance of his leave.
"The point is not clearly covered by your decision of December 7, 1903, in the case of Mr. Louis Kaiser, American consul at Mazatlan, Mexico.”
By section 1742 of the Revised Statutes it is provided:
"No diplomatic or consular officer shall receive salary for the time during which he may be absent from his post, by leave or otherwise, beyond the term of sixty days in any one year; but the time equal to that usually occupied in going to and from the United States in case of the return, on leave, of such diplomatic or consular officer to the United States may be allowed in addition to such sixty days."
The same section of the Revised Statutes was involved in the Kaiser case to which you refer. (See 10 Comp. Dec., 465.) It is my opinion that diplomatic and consular officers of the United States are entitled to but one transit period each year in addition to their leave. Should one of them desire or see fit to divide his leave and make more than one trip to the United States, the time actually consumed in making the first trip, provided it be not in excess of the maximum time allowed therefor by section 294 of "Instructions to Diplomatic Officers, edition of 1897," will be allowed in addition to the leave granted. The time consumed in making the second or subsequent trip in the same year will not be allowed, but should be considered as a part of and charged against the annual leave of such officer. To hold otherwise would be to violate the clear intent of the act which seeks to give to each such officer the same amount of net leave through the allowance of the time actually consumed in making one trip from and to his post.
The question propounded by you will therefore be answered in the negative.
REIMBURSEMENT OF A CIVILIAN OFFICER FOR EXPENSES IN APPREHENDING AN ENLISTED MAN CHARGED WITH DESERTION AND FORGERY.
The appropriation for contingent expenses of the Army is applicable, in the discretion of the Secretary of War, to the payment of the expenses of a civilian officer in apprehending and delivering to the military authorities a deserter, who was also charged with forgery and embezzlement.
(Acting Comptroller Mitchell to the Secretary of War, September 3, 1904.)
I have received your communication of July 18, 1904, requesting my decision of a question presented, as follows:
"A case has arisen in the administration of this Department involving the payment of a voucher for services rendered in connection with the apprehension and delivery to the military authorities of Private Wiley A. Galaghan, of